As announced in Rail Budget 2016-17, it has been decided to extend stations based e-catering services to all A1 and A category stations on Indian Railways. Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has tied up with renowned, reputed, popular and established brands in the field of catering services so that the passengers can order good quality and hygienic food of their choice on payment basis. Further, personalized takeaway e-bedrolls, as a pilot project, have also been introduced in trains starting/passing through 4 stations i.e. New Delhi, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Chennai Central, and Trivandrum stations wherein passengers having confirmed tickets have the option of availing the facility on payment at the rate ₹140/- for 2 bed sheets & a pillow and ₹ 110/- for a blanket which can be bought separately or together. This can be booked through IRCTC website while booking e-tickets or otherwise also.
Improvement of catering services is an ongoing process. In its endeavour to provide quality and hygienic food to the passengers, Railways have developed and operationalized an institutionalized mechanism for monitoring of quality and hygiene of catering services through regular inspections at various levels to address catering complaints.
Further, steps taken to ensure that good quality and hygienic food is served to the passengers include: (i) Introduction of pre cooked food (‘ready to eat’ meals) in the range of options available to passengers. (ii) Operation of centralized Catering Service Monitoring Cell (CSMC) (toll free number 1800-111-321) for prompt redressal of passenger grievances relating to the catering activities and real time assistance to travelling public. (iii) Imposition of penalties in case of deficiencies detected in services. (iv) Operation of all India Helpline (No.138) for rail-users to lodge complaints/suggestions regarding food and catering services (v) A Twitter handle @IRCATERING has also been made operational to cater to the complaints/suggestions with regard to catering services.